The term Sikhism derives from “Sikhi” rooted in the word sikhana signifies temporal part of learning. Sikhi also comes from “Sikh” that means disciples or student of the Guru. This monotheistic religion which is the 5th largest faith of the world, originated in Panjab around the end of 15th century. Guru Nanak who was born in Hindu kshatriya (warrior cast) family in present day Pakistan, is the founder of this faith. He was against of cast system of Hinduism but accepted the reincarnation and he adopted the one God of Islamism to create this new religion with Hindu terminologies. His nine successors continued as a human guru and after the composition of compiled form of Sikh scripture (teaching of all 10 Gurus), Guru Grantha Sahib, by the tenth Guru Govinda Singh, the trend of human guru was terminated and the scripture as the eternal religious spiritual guide is established for Sikh.
Guru Grantha Sahib is written in Panjabi language and Gurmukhi script. Mul Mantra is the opening words of this scripture and it consists 12 words. It begins with IK OMKAR (formless one) understood in the Sikh tradition as monotheistic unity of God. The essential beliefs of Sikhism are articulated in the Guru Grantha Sahib include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, divine unity and equality of all humain kind; engaging in seva (selfless service); striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all; honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder’s life.
Three pillars of this faith:
- Namjapo – meditation in God and reciting and chanting in God name, Waheguru
- Kirat Karani – work hard and earning. Only he who earns his living by the sweat of his brow and shares his earning with others has discovered the path of righteousness.
- Wand Chhakna – sharing the fruits with your neighbors or others
In Sikhism the concept of God is Waheguru (wondrous teacher) considered to be nirakar (shapeless), akal (timeless), karta purak (the creator) and agam agochar (incomprehensible and invisible). This faith emphasizes Simran (meditation and remembrance of the words of God) that can be express musically through kirtan or internally through naamjapna (meditation on his name) as a means of feel God’s presence. Followers receive the knowledge of transforming five thieves (lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego) by practicing this faith.
The tenth Guru Gobinda Rai transformed this religion into militant faith because of the central power tyranny, the hostility of Muslims and Hindus and their persecution. He created the military order of Khalsas with his five preferable disciples (Panj Piyara). Then the ceremony of baptism they all got Singh (lion) with their name at last. After that event all the Sikhs kept Singh with their name even the tenth Guru named Guru Govinda Singh. The Guru forced them to obey the law of Panj Kakaar or five ‘K’s: Kesh (leaving hair uncut), Kanga (carrying a wooden comb), Kirpan (carrying a dagger or sword), Kacchera (wearing cotton shorts) and Kara (wearing and iron bracelet). Wearing a dastar or turban is mandatory for baptized Sikh men.
Their holy place where they practice their religious activities is known as Gurudwara means the gate that brings to Guru. This religious building contains the Sikh scripture which is their Guru or God. The most sacred shrine or which is as pilgrimage site for all Sikh of the world is Sri Harmandir Sahib or Golden temple in Amritsar. This temple possessed the original holy book Guru Grantha Sahib. The temple is in the center of the pond with four entry at first symbolize people form all castes from four directions are welcomed and finally only one entrance represents only one God. 75% of total Sikhs live in the Panjab state of India.